Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No words.

Our middle child, Jonah, has a speech problem. I first realized this when he was about 18 months old. He only said a handful of words, but most of them didn't "count" (doctors and therapist don't count names when they ask how many words do they know).

Da. (daddy)

Momma.

and maybe two or three others.

He didn't babble like most kids his age, nothing like our sweet boy, Peyton. I don't know what that kid's saying most of the time, but if you nod and agree, he keeps on taking. But Jonah never did that.

So I started the adventure to "fix" my kid. I thought it would be easy, most of my family members had speech problems, and was easily fixed with speech therapy. I even had a speech problem as a child, nothing like Jonah, but still.

I finally hunted down the early intervention program for Louisiana (it's called Early Steps, if you're ever wondering.) It took a while for me to find the program, and then even more time to fill out mounds of paper work, evaluations, more paper work, and then for said paperwork to be processed. At this point, Jonah was two. Early Steps only covers children under the age of 3, because at that point they can enter the public school system I guess.

Jonah loved his speech therapist, the one day a week she came was the high light of his week. I would send Blythe off, because if she was here, she was all in the middle of it. He got to have my full attention and the speech therapists full attention.

Then he turned 3.

Early Steps sent us the school board for an evaluation. They agreed that he had a speech problem, which DUH, you would have to be deaf not to realize that.

Then the school system and I had a communication problem. The woman at the school board office told me that for Jonah to receive speech therapy through the school system, he had to be enrolled IN the school system. I don't know what it's called in other states, but PRE-pre-k (3 year olds) in Louisiana, is called Head Start. And over my dead, cold, lifeless body was I going to send my baby to Head Start.

1. It's located at the worst school in the parish (they're ALL bad)

2. They don't teach the children anything.

3. Only crack heads send their kids to Head Start, looking for a free baby sitter.

My baby was not going to school with crack babies. In CrackVille. And not learn anything. Plus, Blythe was already going to school at the church school/private school, AKA where people who love their kids that care about their educations go (That may sound harsh, but the truth hurts. We had to scrimp and save every penny for them to be able to go there, but it was for their education, it was more than worth it) . It's a great program, kids that go there 3 year old - kindergarten have a great advantage over kids that go to the public school. So we were sending him there anyway. They only thing was that they didn't offer speech therapy. They used to, and it was through the public school system, even though they're a private school, but due to budget cuts and such, the school system cut it out.

The nearest speech therapist is an hour away. We just couldn't afford it at that time. We tried all we could to help him at home, but with little luck. Jonah developed his own sign language. We were all so frustrated. I just wanted to be able to have a conversation with my child.

Last year, Joey had three different pay cuts that equaled 40% of his pay check. Times got hard. There was no way we could even THINK about sending them back to the church school/private school. So I sent my babies to Hell (this is what I referred to the public school last year.) They learned very very little. And yes, Jonah was able to have speech therapy again, but because of pay cuts, they school system is short on speech therapist, so the few they do have have to go around to all the school, so they don't have enough time. So they do group speech therapy. Which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. We saw very little improvement.

Things are changing at our house. My husband just took a job that tripled his salary. First thing I did was go and enroll Blythe and Jonah in The Christian School. (This is not the same as the church/private school. That one only goes to kindergarten, and Blythe is going into the 1st. This is also a private school.) It's the best thing in the parish. The kids there score two grades higher than what they're in when they take the state tests. And now we can afford it, thank you dear, sweet, Jesus.

Then I found the name of a speech therapist. Thought I was going to "fix" my baby.

Our current insurance (still from the old job) doesn't cover speech therapy. That just burst my bubble. But it's ok. I picked my self up off the floor where I was having a pity party, and realized it'll be ok. Either the new insurance will cover speech therapy or it won't. And if it doesn't, well, that's ok too. I'll be able to pay for it out of pocket now.

I feel like we're getting some where now.

________________________

Jonah has melt downs. Serious melt downs. Here lately they're worse. And then I get angry because DAMN what's your problem, kid?!

Tonight, while Jonah was having a melt down, I almost said to him, "Son, use your words!"

But then I realized.

He has no words.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

6 years

Today was our 6th anniversary. (Ok, actually, yesterday was, seeing how it's now 1 AM July 11, but just go with it, k? Lets all pretend that it's July 10. Thanks.)

I know, that doesn't sound like that big of a deal, right? I mean it's not 10, 15... 50. But to me it is.

I have I mentioned that my husband is 26? Yeh?

I'm 23.

I'll give you a second to do that math. You got it? Is your mouth hanging open yet? Yeh, I thought so, that's what I usually get.

Yes, I was 17. I'm happy that we're getting this all in the open here. We had Blythe Anne 2 weeks before I turned 17 (January 5, 2004). The following July we got hitched. Mostly just to make his mom shut the hell up. But you're living in siiiiiin living together and not being married. Yeh yeh yeh, we have a baby too, is that what really bothers you? It wasn't that I didn't love him, I just never wanted anyone to say that the kids were the only reason we were married. Never. I wanted to prove that there was more to it. I now know that people are going to think whatever they want to no matter what. So I guess I should have just gone on and married him as soon as I peed on that pregnancy test.

6 years.

The first 3, he was only home for 9 months because of his job. We nearly fell apart before we even got started good. We both went into this with the belief that divorce was not an option. I felt like I didn't even know this person that would come home (visit?) for two weeks after being gone a month. I finally broke down and begged him to quit his job. Find something else. This isn't working and I can't do this.

And he did. Because he is awesome. He quit his supper easy job, to go work in the oil field. Now that's love right there. He didn't do it because the pay was better, or because he just LOVES to be coverd in oil and grease and pipe dope and mud day after day (yeh right), , he did it to save our marriage.

At first it was hard, holy crap, you're only gone for 7 days and then you come home for 7 days? And there have been plenty of other hard times in the past three years since he started in the oil field, but the good out weighs the bad.

6 years.

They called them crazy when they started out
Said, "Seventeen's too young to know what loves about"
They've been together six years now
...Bought a little 3 bedroom house in the country
Where she blessed him with three more mouths to feed
Be a best friend, tell the truth
And overuse "I love you"
Go to work, do your best
Don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin' knees get lazy
And love like crazy

(My edited version of Lee Brice's song "Love Like Crazy")

Thursday, July 8, 2010

He's perfect

He was 18 when we met. He wasn't tall, but dark and handsome he was. Broad shoulders and chest, strong arms, and muscular from working in hay fields with his Daddy. He tried to be a bad boy, but I always saw through it. Not very far into our relationship, he started whispering in my ear, "I'm going to marry you one day." I would laugh and call him crazy. Before he really knew he loved me, it drove him nuts when I would prop my feet on the dash of his old beat up Chevrolet. Once he stopped complaining is when I knew he really loved me. Still, while we're riding around, I'll prop my feet up on the dash of the Ford, and I look at him and grin. He has no idea what I'm grinning about, he just thinks I'm crazy.

He works hard for everything we have, and I hate how he has to bust his ass just to keep up a float. I hate that he's about to take a job that's going to take him away from me most of the time. I will never know when he has to leave again, or when he's coming back to me. I don't know if I can take it. And it's not that I'm worried about taking care of the kids by myself, I can do that.

But I need him.

I need him here.

I need to be able to see him, to touch him.

I don't think I can do this.

And I can't say anything to him about my fears with this job, I don't want to make it any harder on him.

***

A few weeks ago, I went and saw him on the rig. I love these little "get aways". I find someone to keep the kids, I load my stuff up, and I drive 4 hours to spend one night with him. I hate the drive, the drive kills me. I have to drive through a city that I hate and I nearly have a break down every time. But as soon as I pull up on that rig location and I see him walking towards me, it's worth it.

These little trips to the rig are our only times completely alone together. No kids, we're not at our house, we get a hotel room and everything is perfect.

But during this last trip, we went and ate at a Mexican place. While sitting across from my husband, actually being able to talk to him and pay 100% attention to him, without these three children running around, I noticed something that surprised me.

My husband is aging. He's not that 18 year old boy any more. He's still dark and handsome, and I can still get lost in those brown eyes, and he's still muscular, physical labor will do that to you, but I'm starting to notice some wrinkles around his eyes. When did that happen? Where was I? Too busy raising our children to even notice that my husband's job is turning him into an old man at the age of 26?

***

We're not sure when the new job starts. I hope that I can keep it together.


About Me

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I have three kids:
Blythe Anne, 8
Jonah, 7
Peyton, 4

My husband and I have been married for 6 years, and I spend my days being a stay at home mom while he's a driller on a land rig. So for six months of the year (he works a week on, a week off), I'm raising these kids by myself. I would write more, but I hear children screaming :)

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